If you have children, it’s never too early to help them take good care of their teeth. Even very young children can suffer from tooth decay and cavities, so the sooner you can instill good oral hygiene practices, the better.
Even babies’ teeth should be cleaned as soon as they start to emerge. For very young children, wrap a soft washcloth around your finger to gently clean their teeth. Use a tiny amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
Ask Us About Sealants
Ask us about the pros and cons of dental sealants. These thin coatings can help prevent tooth decay in molars—where most cavities are found. These areas can be hard to effectively brush, especially if your child’s molars have deep groves.
Floss your child’s teeth daily as soon as they have two teeth that touch. You might find floss sticks or picks easier to use than traditional string floss. They might continue to need some help as they get older, but these devices can be easier to use.
Supervise Brushing Habits
Make sure that your older child brushes thoroughly, using fluoride toothpaste, at least twice a day and flosses once a day. Ideally, they should brush after every meal. If they’re somewhere where they can’t brush, they should rinse their mouths with water if possible. Until they’re about 7, they may need some help brushing to make sure they’re doing a good job.
Limit Sugary Drinks
Limit the amount of sugary drinks your child has during the day. Fruit juices may seem healthy, but they’re high in sugar and also very acidic, so they can eat away at your child’s tooth enamel. If your child is still young enough to fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup, never let them do this with milk or juice. These drinks will bathe their teeth in sugar throughout the night.
Choose Snacks Wisely
Also limiting the amount of sugary sweets is also a great start in cavity prevention for children. Sticky sweets, like gummy candy, are particularly bad, because they adhere to your child’s teeth. When your child does have a sweet, something like plain chocolate is a much better choice, since saliva washes most of it away.
Set A Good Example
Children are always watching what we do and picking up our habits—both good and bad! If your child sees you brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly, they’ll be much more likely to model the same behavior.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Make sure your child receives regular dental care. Professional cleanings and exams can help with cavity prevention and can spot and address any problems early. Need to prevent cavities for your child? No problem!
Schedule an appointment today with My Family Dentistry to help your child get started on a lifetime of good dental care.